Smart Sheep wool dryer balls

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Giving these a shot. Wool dryer balls. They’re supposed to be a healthy natural alternative to dryer sheets and they’re supposed to reduce dry time too!

• Unscented / fragrance-free laundry
• Eco-friendly and not plastic
• No Xenoestrogens (and other unhealthy ingredients found in dryer sheets)

Mostly it’s hard to find unscented dryer sheets and every fabric softer I’ve tried doesn’t work well in my ancient washer (or at least clothes still ended up staticky and wrinkled.)

Fingers crossed!

Natural deodorants roundup and review

Anyone want to guess which natural deodorant is my favorite? 

Natural deodorants roundup and review: EO Organic Deodorant Spray (Vetiver), Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Deodorant Roll-On (unscented), Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal Roll On Deodorant (fragrance free), Hugo Naturals Dual Action Deodorant (Mexican Lime & Bergamot), Nourish Organic Deodorant (unscented),

The least effective is the Nourish Organic Deodorant (unscented) for me – unless I just want moisturized underarms. Unscented sure but ineffective for me.

My favorite is the EO Organic Deodorant Spray in Vetiver but a spray bottle is idiotic for a deodorant so I bought an empty roll on bottle to fill. They have a lavendar scent and a citrus scent as well but no unscented.

The Hugo Naturals Dual Action Deodorant – Mexican Lime & Bergamot is a last resort because it’s a bit sticky feeling. The scent is wonderful however. They have an unscented but it wasn’t available locally at the time.

And the other two I love BUT I have become temporarily allergic to them several times (underarm rash is no fun) so I can’t use the Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Deodorant Roll-On (unscented) or the Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal Roll On Deodorant (fragrance free) daily. Quick note on scent for these two: the Tom’s of Maine “unscented” actually smells like Fruit Loops cereal for some reason and the Naturally Fresh “fragrance free” actually smells like a light masculine musk. While neither of these has any added fragrance, not even of the natural variety, if you were expecting something in a deodorant with no smell at all you aren’t likely to find that.

I’ve been using the EO deoderant daily for months now no problem though and I haven’t reacted to it like I have some of the others. Only down side is that it smells a bit like gin and I had to buy a separate roller bottle. Why don’t I like a spray? Because FAR too often I’m dressed before I remember deodorant. I can apply a stick or a roll-on under a shirt but a spray doesn’t work well when this happens. EO I would LOVE it if you offered these in a roll-on. ALSO you have forgotten about the 3 oz rule for travel liquids and the spray bottle would be thrown out by the TSA.

None are as effective as chemical laden deodorants at fighting scent on an intense day but I can say that four of these come pretty close for me. (I threw in the Nourish Deodorant because it’s popular right now, unscented, and if it works with your body chemistry, it’s the healthiest.) None are antiperspirants – not sweating is not natural … but I don’t want to smell bad doing it.

Please keep in mind when dealing with natural deodorants that your own personal body chemistry may have an impact on the results you get. I know I’ve tried a couple (not shown) that were so useless for me that I trashed them without thinking twice but had decent reviews from other people (some people say that the Nourish deodorant works for them!)

TMI? 🙂

So here’s the breakdown of each of these natural / organic deodorants from the Cosmetics Database (in order of which ones work the best for me):

  • ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 3EO Organic Deodorant Spray (Vetiver) Cosmetic Database 3 Ingredients: Organic Ethanol, Purified Water, EO® Essential Oil Blend [Organic Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Organic Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Organic Geranium Maculatum Oil, Organic Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil, Organic Cedrus Deodara Wood Oil, Organic Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil]
  • ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 3Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Deodorant Roll-On (unscented) Cosmetics Database 3 Ingredients: Propylene glycol, Water, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice (Organic), Witch hazel water, Zinc ricinoleate, Glyceryl laurate, Zinc citrate, Hectorite clay, Chamomile aqueous extract, Coriander fruit oil, Cymbopogon schoenanthus (Organic Lemongrass oil)
  • ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 1Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal Roll On Deodorant (fragrance free) Cosmetics Database 1 Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), Natural Mineral Salts (Potassium Alum), Zinc Ricinoleate, Xanthan Gum, Chamomile Extract (Anthemis Nobilis Flower), Phenoxyethanol
  • ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 2Hugo Naturals Dual Action Deodorant (Mexican Lime & Bergamot) Cosmetics Database 2 Ingredients: elaeis guineensis (palm) oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, saccharomyces ferment, aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, sorbitan olivate, oryza sativa (rice) hull powder, bisabolol, tocopherol, allantoin, olea europaea (olive) leaf extract, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) leaf extract, glycerin, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower extract, lonicera japonica (honeysuckle) flower extract
  • ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 0Nourish Organic Deodorant (unscented) Cosmetics Database ZERO (zero is the healthiest possible) Ingredients: Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Organic Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Organic Saccharomyces Ferment

Natural & Organic Shampoo & Conditioner
{My Natural Hair Series Part 1}

natural-and-organic-shampoo-and-conditioners 

I once heard what sounded like some great advice: if you find a shampoo and conditioner you love, try the hair sprays, volumizers and other styling products in the same brand and you’ll probably end up liking them too.

The only problem is that really doesn’t hold true particularly when you hit organic and natural product lines. Worse is that many natural and organic companies that make shampoo and conditioner are very sparse when it comes to styling and finishing options.

And even worse than that, I have issues with anything rose scented and Tim can’t be around me if the rosemary or lavendar is too strong (and rosemary makes my hair look A-Maz-ing! Argh!) I would be using Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo and their Organic Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner but the rosemary in them gave Tim a headache. :/

So what’s a girl to do when she she has allergies, her significant other has allergies AND she wants to go with a natural product? Research a LOT and try a LOT of products until one clicks.

For reference and for those familiar with the Naturally Curly hair types, I’m either a 2b or a 3a since most of the time the curls don’t go to the crown of my head, sometimes they coil but sometimes they just do a simple “s” and I can also straighten my hair (not pin straight) without too much trouble (unless I go out in the rain.)

So let’s start with the basics, Desert Essence Fragrance Free Shampoo & Conditioner:

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Desert Essence Fragrance Free Shampoo | Desert Essence Fragrance Free Conditioner
The shampoo is a 2 with EWG’s Cosmetic’s Database, and the conditioner is a 3

This is not my be all end all perfect combo but it’s what I can use daily and my hair looks good without killing me or Tim. I do want to try some of the other Desert Essence Shampoos and Conditioners but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet and keep rebuying this one.

What I love about these Desert Essence Fragrance Free products :

  • It doesn’t weight down my hair.
  • It doesn’t build up in my hair.
  • You can use it week after week with the same results instead of feeling like it’s no longer doing it’s job after a few weeks.
  • I don’t have what I would call “hippy hair” like I have with some other natural shampoos & conditioners (Dr. Bronner’s, I’m sorry, but I’m looking at you.)
  • “Fragrance Free” is NOT a gimmick and scents are not masked by “light” added fragrances like some other products. There is a light light scent when sniffed directly in the bottle, but that’s really from the product ingredients AND it really does rinse out. I recommend reading over the ingredients to see if there’s anything you know you personally might have a problem with but this is one of the best fragrance free products I’ve found.
  • It’s a good base for everything else.
  • No: cones (dimethicone), parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, animal testing, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, or sulfates

What I don’t like:


Where I would suggest starting if you don’t already use a natural / organic shampoo, conditioner or other styling products – Shea Moisture kits:

Now that I’ve spent all of this time talking about the Desert Essences Fragrance Free line, I’m going to switch gears. If you are looking for somewhere to start in your journey for natural hair care products, I would highly recommend starting with the Shea Moisture kits. Particularly since I’m going to talk about some of their styling products from these kits that I DO use:

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Shea Moisture Organic Curl & Shine Kit Coconut & HibiscusShea Moisture Hair Repair & Transition Kit Raw Shea Butter & Argan Oil

I was able to pick both of these up at my local Walgreens. And don’t worry too much about the fact that they’re in the ethnic hair care section. Unless your hair is super thin and straight, I think at least a couple of products in these kits will work for many different types of hair.

Like the Desert Essence shampoo and conditioner, the Shea Moisture products are also free of: cones (dimethicone), parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, animal testing, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, or sulfates

If these don’t work for you or you have allergies or scent sensitivities I would move on to the Desert Essence Fragrance Free line.


Some other brands of natural / organic shampoo and conditioner that I’ve tried and thought were ok:

  • Avalon Organics: The Lavender OR Rosemary shampoos and conditioners I’ve tried and are good. And after I shower they aren’t intense enough to bother Tim. However when compared to the Desert Essence, my hair looks better with the Desert Essence. I haven’t tried the rest of the Avalon Organics line. Rosemary Shampoo is an EWG 4 and Conditioner is an EWG 3
  • Aubrey Organics: This line is very hit or miss. From my recollection one of my main problems with these was that there was product buildup. I needed to switch back and forth between two shampoos and conditioners to keep certain ones from weighing down my hair and others from stripping too much oil out. Some of these however would be excellent options for the more curly girls out there which is why I’m mentioning it. One of my favorites from their line is actually the Swimmer’s Normalizing Conditioner for Active Lifestyles – it’s a really thick and luxurious conditioner and I didn’t seem to have the same buildup problem with it. I used it for awhile with the Avalon Rosemary Shampoo.

I tried the following were “meh” or didn’t like them:

  • Burt’s Bees: I wanted so much to love these shampoos and conditioners but they just did not cut it for me. I tried at least two of their shampoos and conditioners and they did nothing good for my hair. I did so just after they came out (mentioning in case they adjusted the formula.)
  • Nature’s Gate: just meh. Not good, not bad for the hair just … nothing special. A little harsher on the hair than some of the others I’ve mentioned. Also some have parabens and some other ingredients I’m trying to reduce.
  • Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap: Serious Hippy Hair … ugh. I love this company but I just can’t bring myself to use the castile soap for anything. I tried the castile soap for my hair over a period of three days once and it just never felt clean and wasn’t looking good either. Tangly, ratty, hard to work with and dirty feeling. I really hate having to say this because they do make some good products and I know some people who can and do use the castile soap instead of shampoo but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Do NOT start here and judge natural hair care based on this alone.

Others I haven’t tried but would / should:

  • Jason Naturals
  • Alba Botanica / Alba Hawaiian – I’ve tried practically their whole line but not the shampoo and conditioner yet
  • Say Yes to Carrots

Do YOU have a favorite natural / organic shampoo & conditioner that I haven’t mentioned here that I should try? Have you tried any of the products I mentioned and want to share your thoughts? Feel free to post in the comments below! 🙂


Up Next in { My Natural Hair Series } : Natural / Organic Styling Products I’m currently using